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Public health emergency preparedness: an IMS-based workshop

EMcycle_v2.pngPublic Health Ontario’s (PHO) Public health emergency preparedness: an IMS-based workshop has been designed by and for public health professionals. It includes a number of training resources developed by PHO that are based on Incident Management System (IMS) concepts. This workshop’s intent is to enhance public health emergency preparedness in Ontario and support collaboration with other sectors.

This hands-on workshop applies basic concepts in emergency management and IMS in a public health context. It positions IMS as an organizing principle enabling public health units to coordinate various emergency preparedness plans in the context of public health investigation. This workshop will include a case study incorporating the hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA) process, emergency response plan, continuity of operations plan (COOP), and evaluation and assessment tools.  

In recognition of current research in adult learning, PHO’s public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) workshop program uses a ‘blended learning’ approach, which incorporates both independent online study and in-class small group activities as part of the workshop experience. It consists of two components:


  1. The Public Health Emergency Preparedness online course​ is available through PHO’s training portal. This course includes three modules that each require 15 to 20 minutes to complete in advance of the workshop. They introduce public health emergency preparedness concepts that are essential to understanding and benefiting from the in-person session. We recommend that participants complete these modules one to two weeks prior to the face-to-face workshop.

  2. The one-day, face-to-face session will see attendees participating in scenario-based learning activities. This includes a tabletop exercise where learners will participate in a simulated public health investigation.


PHO experts can tailor this scenario-based workshop to your organization or region. The workshop is offered on a no-fee basis in collaboration with our health unit partners in Ontario.


"The PHO emergency preparedness workshop made IMS meaningful by using relevant, health-based, examples. It’s training for an emergency the way public health does business.”

-Rob Bromley, Public Health Planner, Region of Waterloo Public Health

What to expect:

Gain skills and experience

  • Conduct a hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA)
  • Build an Incident Action Plan
  • Construct a relevant IMS Chart

Participate in a one-day facilitated workshop format that:

  • Provides an IMS-based introduction to emergency management and builds on IMS-100
  • Explores relevant emergency management concepts drawn from a variety of sources
  • Offers a realistic scenario-based learning format

Explore public health applications of IMS:

  • Play with the PHO IMS template
  • Explore where science fits in your IMS structure

Evaluate your own public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) plans:

  • Communications plan
  • Emergency response plan (ERP)
  • Continuity of operations plan (COOP)

“A valuable and important training session on how public health units can utilize a tailored IMS approach to prepare for and respond to every public health incident and those community incidents that have a public health impact. Time well spent.”

-Betty Schepens, Program Manager, Infectious Disease and Emergency Preparedness Programs, Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit



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Page last updated: 2016-10-19 4:57 PM
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Page updated on [date/time] 2016-10-19 4:57 PM
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